The Norwich Sea Captains earned a 2-1 win over the Long Beach Sharks on Saturday evening, January 14 at the City of Long Beach Ice Arena in North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) action. Quinten Olshan’s first NA3HL goal with 23 second left to play was the game-winner and Andrew Yocum made 26 saves to backstop a strong defensive effort in the victory.
Jacob Begich opened the scoring 17:42 into the game when he skillfully batted a chipped puck from Erik Masengill out of the air before flying through the neutral zone, eluding a Sharks defender and beating the goaltender with a shot to the far side of the net. Chris Hamilton was credited with the second assist on the goal. Long Beach answered with a power play goal 8:20 into the second period to even the game at 1-1.
The Norwich penalty kill thwarted three more power play opportunities in the latter half of the second and then the early part of tthird period before the Sea Captains struck for the game winning goal. Olshan’s goal was started by Angelo Donzella who made a patient play to ensure puck possession before he slipped a pass to Darrell Smith. Smith fired the puck toward the net just as Olshan crossed the goaltenders line of vision. The East Lyme, CT native deflected Smith’s thigh-high shot into the far side of the net to put the Sea Captains on top for good in the 2-1 win.
“Although we did struggle to find our offensive game at points throughout the game we stuck to our “lunch pail” and “steel toe boots” style of play which paid off. Jacob’s goal to give us the lead late in the first period was the result of a chip to a hard and wide entry that we work on all the time. I was happy to score a big goal, with a lot of help from Angelo and Smitty, to help the team earn these two points,” explained Olshan about the game.
The two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon, January 15 at 2:30 PM in Long Beach. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV for those who cannot check out the action in person.